Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensors, integrating the features of Wireless Information and Power Transfer (WIPT), object identification and energy efficient sensing capabilities, have been considered a new paradigm of sensing and communication for the futuristic information systems. RFID sensor tags featuring contactless sensing, wireless information transfer, wireless powered, light weight, non-line-of-sight transmission, flexible and pasteable are a critical enabling technology for future Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, such as manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, agriculture and food. They have attracted numerous research efforts due to their innovative potential in the various application fields. However, there has been a gap between the in-lab investigations and the practical IoT application scenarios, which has motivated this survey of this research to identify the promising enabling techniques and the underlying challenges. This study aims to provide an exhaustive review on the state-of-art RFID sensor technologies from the system implementation perspective by focusing on the fundamental RF energy harvesting theories, the recent technical progresses and commercial solutions, innovative applications and some RFID sensor based IoT solutions, identify the underlying technological challenges at the time being, and give the future research trends and promising application fields in the rich sensing applications of the forthcoming IoT era.
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